Concern for Journalist After Phone Threats in the Philippines

 The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is extremely concerned for the safety of a Palawan journalist who received death threats on his cellular phone on April 4.

According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, a correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Redempto Anda, fears for his life after receiving two threatening text messages from another cell phone.

The first message to Anda, who is also chairperson of the NUJP’s Palawan chapter, read, "Watch your back you have been tempting the gods! Don't even think they will take it kindly that you are on a personal crusade against the KAPITAN."

This was immediately followed by the message, "Be kind to an animal? Yes we will, through mercy killing! Goodluck."

Anda told the NUJP that the only controversial report he had written recently was published on April 1. It detailed a mining company’s alleged moves to prevent the Philippines President from declaring Mt Mantalingajan a protected area.

The company is owned by business magnate Lucio Tan, who is widely known as “El Kapitan".

"Intimidation tactics of this kind are a direct interference in the duty of journalists to report fair and balanced information to the public without fear of being harmed,” said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.

“It is unacceptable that the safety of journalists, who are the guardians of free expression and press freedom for all people in the Philippines, is put at risk for exposing alleged corruption.”  

The IFJ joins the NUJP in calling on the Government to uphold its responsibility to create a safe environment for journalists so that they can continue their professional duties and to send a clear message that threats and harassment of journalists will not be tolerated.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries